Friday, 24 August 2012

SPUC rebuts smears by homosexual newspaper

Pink News, which advertises itself as ‘Europe’s largest gay news service’, has published an online story about SPUC’s real marriage flyer. Here is a response to the story by Anthony McCarthy, SPUC's education and publications manager:
The story manages to:
a) smear SPUC as an ‘anti-LGBT group’
b) ignore all written materials SPUC has put out on the subject (all available at www.spuc.org.uk - an address given in the flyer)
c) grossly misrepresent the contents of the flyer itself.

Basic journalistic good practice could, of course, have avoided all these faults. SPUC was not consulted about the article or asked to comment on the false claims made. SPUC has contacted Pink News six times (four times by telephone and twice by email) since the article went online but has received no reply or acknowledgement of any kind.

As Pink News in general, and journalist Christopher Brocklebank in particular, have failed their readership so dismally, it is left to us to correct them.

Re a) above:
Pink News labels SPUC “a pro-life and anti-LGBT group”. This is half-correct and half-smear. We defend the right to life, and we defend marriage, opposing its mooted redefinition as a genderless institution. The campaign, and the organisation itself, are not ‘anti-LGBT’; they are simply ‘pro-marriage’. Presumably Pink News regards homosexuals such as Brian Sewell and Christopher Biggins as ‘anti-LGBT’ for their opposition to same-sex marriage? Perhaps Stonewall’s lengthy silence on same-sex marriage and chief executive Ben Summerskill’s airing of fears of the exorbitant cost of changes to legislation (£5bn) qualify them as formerly anti-LGBT?

Re b) above:
SPUC’s materials, ignored by Brocklebank yet locatable at our website within seconds, can be found here:
Re c) above:
Pink News states:
“SPUC’s claim that same-sex marriages – if legalised – were more likely to lead to the abortion of unborn babies within those very marriages was not fully explained.”
It is true that this was not “fully explained” - not least because no such claim was ever made! The flyer states the following:
"We must protect real marriage because it protects children in the womb. Statistics show that unborn babies are four to five times more likely to be aborted outside of real marriage.”
In the hands of Brocklebank our statement is transformed into a claim about abortions ‘within’ same-sex marriages - as opposed to our concern at the harmful impact on future children of removing natural conception universally from the idea of marriage. Thus does Pink News set up a straw man for its readers. It’s a shame that the paper has such contempt for its gay readership.

Smears and outright misrepresentations - whether from Pink News, or from commentators who effectively support them - will not deter SPUC from this campaign: a campaign that puts the child at the centre of our concerns, not the sexual ‘rights’ of adults.

As Patrick Riley reminds us in his book 'Civilizing Sex':
“The very act of marrying implies children as the purpose and perfection of the state created by the act...Therefore man and wife ‘by themselves’ constitute a family, since in reality, if only in potency, there is no such thing as man and wife by themselves. When you say husband, you say father; when you say wife, mother.”
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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Vatican newspaper praises Cardinal O'Brien's "eloquent and effective" action against same-sex marriage plans

I am delighted to read in L'Osservatore Romano, a leading article, published yesterday, praising Cardinal O'Brien's and the Scottish bishops' fearless defence of families.

It describes the Cardinal's decision to suspend direct communication with the government of Scotland in protest against its support of the introduction of same-sex "marriage" as  "eloquent and effective" action. L'Osservatore Romano states:
"A symbolic action, but one that is eloquent and effective. Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of Edinburgh and President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, has suspended direct communication with the government of Scotland in protest of its support of the introduction of same-sex unions to the country. The Cardinal refused to discuss the issue, leaving any future meetings to officials.

"The Scottish government has decided to modify the law in force, despite the fact that public opinion seems to believe the reform to be unnecessary. Nevertheless the government has been working towards the law this year and has indicated that the first same-sex ceremonies could happen as early as 2015. Regarding the proposal of the legalization of homosexual marriage in England and Wales, Cardinal O'Brien once more raises his voice in defence of civil society. His stance is not Catholic but simply one of a civil nature. The Cardinal upholds reason and common sense.

"This month the Scottish government began considering same-sex unions, asking the public if same-sex marriage should be introduced in England and Wales. The Cardinal said that he hopes that many people will respond and reflect on the possibility of signing the petition supporting traditional marriage."
Marriage as an institution protects children, both born and unborn. Statistics show that unborn children are much safer within marriage than outside marriage. For more information see SPUC's position paper and background paper on same-sex marriage.  Please do everything you can to support SPUC's Britain-wide lobby of Members of Parliament on marriage. Like Cardinal O'Brien, let's not be intimidated by charges of 'homophobia' as we seek to uphold the institution of marriage, which is the faithful lifelong union between one man and one woman, which is the foundation of the family and the fundamental group-unit of society.

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

SPUC Pro-Life offers its condolences on the death of Tony Nicklinson

SPUC Pro-Life, which was officially represented in the Debbie Purdy and Diane Pretty cases, has offered its condolences to the loved ones of Tony Nicklinson, who died today. Mr Nicklinson, who had 'locked-in' syndrome, last week lost his High Court bid for permission for euthanasia.

Paul Tully, SPUC Pro-Life's general secretary, told the media earlier today:
"We offer our condolences to Mr Nicklinson’s family and friends. We note reports that his death was peaceful and while surrounded by his loved ones."
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Cardinal O'Brien and his fellow bishops are giants in defence of marriage

Please see below a press release and a message from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland. The Scottish bishops are giants in defence of marriage. In particular, Cardinal O'Brien is a shepherd of the flock who is taking care, not only of the families in his archdiocese and in Scotland, but also of countless thousands of families who are thrilled to hear his voice and experience his leadership throughout Britain and Ireland.

We must respond to that leadership. Please do everything you can to support SPUC's Britain-wide lobby of Members of Parliament on marriage. Like Cardinal O'Brien, let's not be intimidated by charges of 'homophobia' as we seek to uphold the institution of marriage, which is the faithful lifelong union between one man and one woman, which is the foundation of the family and the fundamental group-unit of society.

To help you lobby your MP, please read two new documents:
Further information on SPUC's position on same-sex marriage can be found in our position paper and background paper.

Will you organize a group in your area to leaflet door-to-door on this issue? If so, please email me johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk

Scottish Catholic Media Office (SCMO), 22 August 2012:

Cardinal O'Brien calls on politicians to "sustain rather than subvert Marriage"

The Catholic Church in Scotland will inaugurate "National Marriage Sunday" on Sunday 26 August 2012. In a Pastoral Letter to be read out in all of Scotland's 500 Catholic parishes, the Bishops' of Scotland will
"place a special emphasis on the role of the family founded on marriage"
and stress that
"marriage is a unique lifelong union of a man and a woman".
In a strongly worded message, the Bishops will restate, their
"deep disappointment that the Scottish Government has decided to redefine marriage and legislate for same sex marriage".
As well as thanking parishioners for their past support in defence of marriage, the message will urge them to
"continue to act against efforts to redefine it".
Endorsing the initiative Cardinal Keith O'Brien, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland said:
"The Church's teaching on marriage is unequivocal, it is uniquely, the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that Governments, politicians or Parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality."
Cardinal O'Brien added:
"With this letter we will announce the creation of a National Commission for Marriage and the Family, a body which will be charged with promoting the true nature of marriage, it will develop an online prescence and produce materials and organise events which will help Catholic families to support and sustain marriage.

While we pray that our elected leaders will sustain rather than subvert marriage, we promise to continue to do everything we can to convince them that redefining marriage would be wrong for society".
A Message for Marriage Sunday, 26 August 2012, from the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland:
"In all things, we as Catholics look to Jesus Christ as our model and teacher. When asked about marriage He gave a profound and rich reply: “Have you not read that the Creator, from the beginning, ‘made them male and female’, and said: ‘This is why a man must leave father and mother and cling to his wife and the two become one body’.” (Matthew, 19: 4-5) In the Year of Faith, which begins this October, we wish to place a special emphasis on the role of the family founded on marriage. The family is the domestic Church, and the first place in which the faith is transmitted. For that reason it must have a primary focus in our prayerful considerations during this period of grace.

We write to you having already expressed our deep disappointment that the Scottish Government has decided to redefine marriage and legislate for same-sex marriage. We take this opportunity to thank you for your past support in defense of marriage and hope you will continue to act against efforts to redefine it. We reaffirm before you all the common wisdom of humanity and the revealed faith of the Church that marriage is a unique life-long union of a man and a woman.

In circumstances when the true nature of marriage is being obscured, we wish to affirm and celebrate the truth and beauty of the Sacrament of Matrimony and family life as Jesus revealed it; to do something new to support marriage and family life in the Catholic community and in the country; and to reinforce the vocation of marriage and the pastoral care of families which takes in the everyday life of the Church in dioceses and parishes across the country.

For that reason, in the forthcoming Year of Faith we have decided to establish a new Commission for Marriage and the Family. This Commission will be led by a bishop and will be composed mostly of lay men and women. The Commission will be charged with engaging with those young men and women who will be future husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and with those who already live out their vocation to marriage and parenthood in surroundings which often make it hard to sustain and develop the full Catholic family life we cherish.

We wish to support too, those who are widowed, separated and divorced and all who need to feel the Church’s maternal care in the circumstances in which they find themselves. The new Commission will promote the true nature of marriage as both a human institution and a union blessed by Jesus. The Commission will be asked to develop an online presence so that prayer, reflection, formation and practical information on matters to do with marriage and family life can be quickly accessible to all. It will also work to produce materials and organise events which will support ordinary Catholic families in their daily lives. During the course of the coming year we will ask for your support for these initiatives.

Our faith teaches us that marriage is a great and holy mystery. The Bishops of Scotland will continue to promote and uphold the universally accepted definition of marriage as the union solely of a man and a woman. At the same time, we wish to work positively for the strengthening of marriage within the Church and within our society.

This is an important initiative for all our people, but especially our young people and children. We urge you to join us in this endeavour. Pray for your own family every day, and pray for those families whose lives are made difficult by the problems and cares which they encounter. Finally, we invite you to pray for our elected leaders, invoking the Holy Spirit on them, that they may be moved to safeguard marriage as it has always been understood, for the good of Scotland and of our society."
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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Cardinal breaks off relations with Scottish first minister over gay marriage

Cardinal O'Brien
Top story:

Cardinal breaks off relations with Scottish first minister over gay marriage
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, has broken off relation with Alex Salmond, the Scottish first minister, over the Scottish government's approach to same-sex marriage. The cardinal has insisted that all future discussions between the church and the  government be conducted by officials instead. [Express, 20 August] Cardinal O'Brien has been the UK's most outspoken religious leader against same-sex marriage. John Smeaton, SPUC director, commented: "Cardinal O'Brien's recent announcement breaking off dialogue with senior Scottish politicians is a sign of how grave the situation is. When politicians give the impression that they are listening, but continue pursuing the opposite objectives (in this case, the abolition of legal recognition for real marriage, replacing it with a counterfeit) firm action is needed."

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
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